Sycamore Shoals Park to highlight old-world holiday traditions

“Old Christmas” might not be a recognized holiday anymore, but the date holds significance in the historical community, as that was when Christmas used to take place, and Sycamore Shoals State Park is preparing to celebrate that and other old-time traditions as the holiday season wanes.

Museum curatorial assistant Chad Bogart from Sycamore Shoals State Park said the holiday stems from a calendar change that cut 11 days from the calendar. However, the change came from a Catholic pope, so the rest of the world, including the protestant England and its colonies, ignored the change until 1752. Hence, two Christmas dates: one on December 25, and the other, “Old Christmas” on January 6.

“During the early settlements, they were of many different cultures,” Bogart said of the holiday traditions. “You had English, Scottish, German, […]. They brought their cultures with them.”

He said Christmas at Fort Watauga is meant to use the old holiday to showcase how these different cultures influenced the modern perception of the holiday. Different cabins will feature different countries and their cultures, such as the Irish and putting candles on the windowsill and the German origins of the Christmas tree.

“People can learn how the old world traditions combined,” Bogart said.

He said in many traditions in old America, Christmas did not start until the actual date, December 25, and did not end until January 6, hence the 12 Days of Christmas.

“I always enjoyed Christmas,” he said. “It brings us more in touch with our roots.”

He said he loves how this event, which comes after the rush of the holiday season, helps people relax and truly look to understand how their traditions came to be, as well as possibly take some traditions home for themselves to try.

“For example, the Scottish were Presbyterians,” Bogart said. “They did not really celebrate Christmas as a holiday.”

Instead, he said, their holiday traditions focused on the new year.

The event will run both Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 4 and 5, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“Put aside the urge to be rushed, and come down and relax and learn,” he said. “You just might pick up something.”

SportsPlus

Local news

Intense Bristol Burnout returns to Bristol Motor Speedway Aug. 24

Arrests

Two caregivers arrested for neglect of vulnerable adult

Local news

Tennessee developers can now hire own building safety inspectors

Local news

Upcoming events in Elizabethton….

Local news

JCPD promotes autism awareness with challenge coin

Local news

Dept. of Health denying teens preventative healthcare, citing new parental consent law

Local news

Report: 988 lifeline provides robust support for mental health crisis in Tennessee

Local news

Maker’s Market kicks off Christmas in July in Downtown

Local news

The Salvation Army of Johnson City announces adjustments in services

Local news

A Life Lived: Betty Lacy’s life revolved around family, friends  

Local news

Carter County Commission approves budget without raising taxes

Local news

tnAchieves celebrates 5 million community service hours

Local news

Tri-Cities Airport partners with Eastman for plastic waste recycling initiative

Local news

Tennessee lawmakers react to attempted Trump shooting

Local news

Tennessee gas prices drop five cents, remain among lowest in the nation

Local news

Tennessee Historic Preservation grant fund applications now being accepted

Local news

Gardening Seminar at Sycamore Shoals

Local news

ETSU: Drought situation growing dangerous   

Local news

First Baptist Elizabethton to host free food bag distribution

BREAKING NEWS

Escaped inmate charged with murder in connection with disappearance of Victor Birchfield

Local news

Council hears complaints about LED lighting, cruise-in confusion

Local news

City OKs on-premises beer permit for ‘pub bar’ at pickleball facility

Local news

Man seeking asylum charged with fraud, financial exploitation of Carter woman

Local news

Senator Bill Hagerty endorses Renea Jones for TN House District 4